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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just talking to a friend of mine who told me a story which seemed a bit far fetched. He said that he heard of 2 guys in a 16ft boat who were fishing in Shinne**** inlet earlier this month and that there were herring being pushed into the inlet by dolphin, pilot whales and tuna. They had the herring corralled and they hooked into a bluefin estimated to be 200lbs. They fought the fish for several hours and it dragged them into the ocean. It was getting late and they realized that they would never be able to bring the big fish aboard, so the cut it loose.

Can anyone confirm this story, or is this just an Urban legend?

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11,904 Posts
Here's the story

As reported by Suffolk Life anyway:

Fish Tale

A Nautical Drama

By Gene Seraphine

It was 12 noon on December 2. The ocean was placid and a break in the chilly weather provided a tolerant and comfortable sunny 60 degrees.

The 15-foot outboard-powered fishing skiff swung out of the bay and into the Shinne**** Inlet and was just clearing the rock jetties on the oceanside when they saw it happening. A good half-acre of surface water churned into a boil with only instantaneous glimpses of tail and dorsal fins on the frothy surface. A feeding frenzy complete with diving gulls! But seemingly, the finned denizens were too big to be migrating bass.

Jessie was going to find out. He snapped on a jointed rapala swimming plug, swung the tip of his spinning rod over his shoulder and sent the lure on a mission right into the middle of the boiling orgy. The plug barely hit the water when it was snapped up by a huge dark rolling body - the wrong color to be a striped bass.

Would the 30-pound spider wire braided line hold or snap? The throbbing, arched spinning rod seemed to be heading for a figure eight-bend even though the reel drag was just above medium tight. Jessie stuck the rod handle deep into his belly as the boat lurched forward under tow from the big fish and Mike in the stern yanked the motor into start to follow it and to relieve strain to prevent the line from snapping.

As they picked up speed heading straight out - dead south - in the ocean they passed monster marine bodies in the moving school slashing at the bait fish. The sighting bordered on the unbelievable. Tuna, estimated at from 70 to a couple of hundred pounds, porpoises half the size of the boat and whales at least the length of the boat - all slashing at bait which was judged to be menhaden or herring. The chase got underway with the throttle up, on the 50-horse-power Yamaha and the boat making about 20 knots to keep up with the pulling pelagic and reduce the strain on the line.

The battle ensued. The clock was ticking and with almost three hours of running time a gas tank switch was made while underway. The 15-foot boat with its two anglers was now about five miles out in the Atlantic. The towing tussel turned into a sounding contest, and from the boat, looking down through the gin-clear water, there was indisputably a tuna estimated to be over 100 pounds. But, the sun was dropping to the horizon and the chill of late afternoon was moving in. What to do? Try to bring the monster to the surface for a close-up view or cut it loose now? Jessie chose the former.

Tightening the drag, he began the slow grind of the handle of the number 12 FinNor and with the bent rod almost in a complete loop and approaching the breaking point, the line began to slowly creep onto the reel spool as the big fish, now quite spent, succumbed to the steady pull of the line.

As the great shape neared the surface, it was clear that it was a bluefin tuna. Jessie maneuvered the rod over the boat's side to provide a straight-up pull, and as he raised the rod tip the 30-pound line snapped right at the knot to the 80-pound leader. Catching the last sight of the fish with the short leader dangling from its mouth, the tired tuna after three hours and 45 minutes of fight, slowly finned out of sight.

According to a few local veteran surf fishermen, this kind of event happens during late fall off the beaches occasionally when baitfish school up in shallow water attracting such marine animals which gorge themselves for the long migration run to the south. According to Mike, the story resurfaced up west off Jones Beach when, a few days later, his cousin called to report that it was perhaps the same assortment of denizens that were seen in a bait-ripping feeding frenzy right off the beach when an unidentified boat angler had all the mono stripped from his reel while jigging for bass.

The characters in his blood-tingling piece of non-fiction were 32-year-old Mike Barone and 24-year-old Jessie Gettling, both of Hampton Bays. The icing on this piece of cake for Jessie was that the rod in use was custom-made by Jessie himself
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